Year A: October 26, 2014
First Reading: Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Moses’ death is a big event for the Israelites. He has been their leader in the escape from Egypt and throughout their time in the wilderness. Now as they are about to embark on the Promised Land, he dies. In Badger’s Parting Gifts, Badger is the elder of the community. He is the one everyone looks to for help and guidance. After he dies, the other animals miss him greatly and have trouble being happy. As time passes, they are able to remember the wonderful things Badger taught them. Like the animals, the Israelites mourn for a time, and then are able to remember the things Moses taught them and did for them as a leader of the Israelites. Moses does not leave them without leadership. Moses’s parting gift is the anointing of Joshua as the next leader before he dies. At the time Deuteronomy was written there had never been a prophet like Moses.
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Testing the Ice By Sharon Robinson
(Written for ages 7-10)
Comment: Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 2:2 ,“We had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition.” The need to be courageous is something children are faced with on an everyday basis. In Testing the Ice, Sharon Robinson, tells the story of her father, Jackie Robinson, breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball, alongside of the time she felt he was the most courageous. It was a cold winter day and the lake had frozen over, but before the kids could ice skate, someone had to be sure the ice was safe. Jackie Robinson obliged his children’s request but moved very slowly in getting ready to go out on the ice. Just after the he stepped onto the ice, the children realized their father did not know how to swim, and then there was a loud boom and everyone was nervous. This was the moment that comes to mind when Sharon Robinson thinks of her father’s courage. Courage does not have to change the world in big ways, but it can. We need courage everyday.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 22:34-46
With Love, Little Red Hen by Alma Flor Ada
(Written for ages 5-8)
Comment: This passage from Matthew has two conversations started with difficult questions. In the first set of questions, the Pharisees are trying to trick Jesus with their question, but he answers it with charisma. Jesus’ answer and ministry are wrapped up in loving God and loving neighbor. While these are different, they are connected. In With Love, Little Red Hen, Ada explores the way love is expressed when people are not physically with each other. Through letters written between different fairy tale characters, the reader is able to see the difficult ways it is to love someone new to the neighborhood, or someone we do not see often. One example of love stands out above the others. Little Red Hen has just moved into the neighborhood and she reaches out to her neighbors for help with growing corn. When they refuse to help her, other neighbors she has not even met yet decide to help with caring for the garden. These helpers take care of the garden without letting Little Red Hen know who they are. They want to help Little Red Hen for the sake of helping her. Little Red Hen feels the love from these neighbors.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by Elizabeth Boulware Landes, Director of Children’s Ministry at Faith Presbyterian Church, Aledo, TX.